Hails & Fails – May 10th 2024

The 2024 Met Gala red carpet is officially over for another year, but it wasn’t just fashion’s biggest night of the year that got us all talking, with these brands joining the A-list celebrities in the limelight.

Ikea’s social team wasted no time in joining the Met Gala conversation, Airbnb took experiential PR to new heights and Paddy Power made us laugh with a playful social post. While overseas in China, PR brand Baidu caused widespread anger for some out-of-touch opinions.


Fashionably fast

When pop star Doja Cat turned up in a towel to the Met Gala, Ikea UK knew exactly what to do.

Within just a few hours, the home store had promoted a DÖJA towel dress on their Instagram in a series of hilarious posts recreating the star’s unique look.

Shout out to the Ikea social team, and to Doja Cat for just being her!

Corey Kitchener – Corpsumer Director: “You couldn’t move for the madness of the Met Gala this week when it came to brand social-jacking… but Ikea really did do it best by marrying their brand personality with one of the night’s viral looks, and within hours of the red-carpet pics landing.”

Fashionably fast

Blue sky thinking

Airbnb gave fans of Disney’s 2009 film Up the chance to stay in the movie’s iconic floating house.

Tethered to 8,000 balloons, the house really puts the air into Airbnb by actually floating as it sleeps four people.

This isn’t the first time Airbnb has given customers extraordinary experiences inspired by Disney. It was only last year that the brand invited us to Shrek’s swamp and Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse.

Truly incredible, we’re just not sure we’d get our 8 hours.

Zach Elborough – Account Manager: “I’m scared of heights, but this campaign blew me away! Airbnb’s partnership with Disney and Pixar is fun, fresh and a little bit ridiculous, masterfully pairing nostalgia with spectacle for an instant conversation starter.”

Blue sky thinking

The real UEFA champion

Paddy Power poked fun at the Harry Kane curse this week with a cheeky post comparing Tottenham Hotspur to Bayern Munich after the German team (where Kane plays after leaving Tottenham) failed to reach the Champions League final.

The X post read, “Bayern’s first trophyless season since 2012. What a fitting way to mark the occasion…” with a short video attached of a billboard being placed outside of Bayern Munich’s stadium. The billboard reads: ‘Welcome to Munich. Now twinned with Tottenham”. Harsh maybe, as Kane has failed to win a trophy with either team, but hilarious nonetheless.

Joseph Loughran – Account Executive: “Look away Spurs fans! I can’t get enough of the disruptive nature of this stunt. As the Harry Kane trophy curse continues, it’s Paddy Power who are winning trophies by going viral with this sign poking fun at the two teams”

The real UEFA champion


Work-life backlash

The head of PR at China’s biggest search engine Baidu was forced to apologise after her comments glorifying having no work-life balance sparked public outcry.

In a series of videos posted on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, Qu Jing said she was not responsible for her employees’ well-being as “I’m not your mother”.

She also threatened retaliation against employees who complained about her harsh management style saying, “I can make it impossible for you to find a job in this industry with just a short essay”.

Jess Redfearn – Midweight Creative: “Having lived in Asia for many years, the public outcry gives me hope that the work culture out there might one day change. But for Baidu, there’s no hope or silver lining here. In 2024, you simply have to do better

Work-life backlash

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